Waine’s World – 15/1/13

Waine’s World – 15/1/13

Hi Everybody,

Rugby returned with a bang to Stewart’s Melville on Saturday, with the school having a full run of fixtures and the F.P. 1st XV and 2nd XV playing Heriot’s Rugby (at Inverleith) and Glasgow Hawks (at Old Anniesland) respectively.          

My day started  by looking after Graeme Brown’s D1 XV, who were playing Hutchesons’ Grammar School on Pitch 2. The Glaswegians arrived defending a strong playing record and competed fiercely in almost every aspect of the game – but they were unable to cope with slick handling, running and support play which produced 6 tries, over half of which originated deep in the home “22” (final result 24-3).

This is the third time I have seen Graeme’s team this season and they obviously enjoy themselves, playing an exciting brand of rugby based on sound basic skills. There is still a long, long way to go and many lessons to be learnt, but, if they maintain their enthusiasm and positive attitude, the future for Stewart’s Melville rugby looks bright!

I then watched the 1st XV beat Hutchesons’ by 53 -5. In many ways it was a scrappy match, punctuated by mistakes due to the conditions and rustiness after a long lay-off over the Christmas period. However, in between times, the boys produced some outstanding rugby based on the patience necessary to build phase rugby and continuity. At one point, coach Lockie’s blood pressure was reaching boiling point, but, by the end, even he was smiling!

Coach Moran, hiding behind his hideous green glasses, almost purred as the scrum asserted its dominance and the driven line out produced three tries. A “double banjo rocket” (or something like that) backs move had them both grinning like Cheshire cats!  I know that the whole squad has the third match up against Watson’s this coming Saturday (Myreside with a 10.30 kick-off) at the back of their minds!

27 school teams turned out on Saturday and about half played higher opposition from other schools. This can be tough on our players, but it does mean that they can pit their skills against strong rivals and that SMC maintains its important traditional fixtures.

Next week (19th January) the school has a full run of fixtures against Watson’s.

It was good to welcome back Heriot’s Rugby and their supporters to Inverleith in the afternoon, despite spotting a well known Stew-Mellie in their coaching team and an ex red, black and gold player on the wing! We had a dream start against our Premier 1 opponents, and, indeed, for the first half, it was not apparent which team played in the second echelon of Scottish club rugby. We scored 3 tries, and, with the clock at zero for half time, led by 15-0.

Unfortunately, with the last play of the 40 minutes, the visitors were allowed to score an unconverted try, and, arguably, this was the turning point of the match. Heriot’s started the second half with renewed vigour, and, while we held near parity for a further 15 minutes, their power, physique and appreciation of the need for greater intensity started to tell.

The referee, who had the occasional decision questioned by some of the Goldenacre faithful in the first half, penalised the tiring home team with increasing frequency in the second, and, for long spells at a time, we had no worthwhile possession. Defence under constant pressure is only possible for so long, and Heriot’s eventually found their fluidity to score 27 points against a solitary penalty to make the final score 18-32.

We can have no grouse about losing, but the boys should be proud of their efforts. They were not outclassed and, hopefully, they have learnt that, with greater experience and confidence, eventual promotion to the top division is not an impossible target.

They have another tough ask on Saturday when they again face Premier 1 opponents in the shape of Boroughmuir at Meggetland. Hopefully they will build on the “Nails Experience” and get themselves in fine fettle for the important league match against Hamilton on the 26th January at Inverleith.

(Gav gives his usual excellent match report for the Heriot’s game on the web site).

The 2nd XV had a tough task in Glasgow and were under strength due to illness, injury and unavailability. Fortunately, the Glasgow University based SMC contingent were able to help out in the guise of Andy Warnock, Jamie Cook and Doc and a somewhat scratch team took the field. The situation was not helped when Struan Allan, making a welcome return to action, proved his fitness by pulling a hamstring – only to be followed two minutes later by Robbie Lawrence suffering the same injury!  Kahu (no other name at the moment), the school’s new GAP student from New Zealand, also made his red, black and gold debut and will, hopefully, be joined by Olly (the new GAP student from Australia) next week.

All credit to the coaches for organising a team under difficult circumstances and to the boys who played and gave it their best. 

Hopefully, now that the festive season is well and truly over, attendance at training by the 2nd and 3rd XV will improve and allow the coaches to organise teams effectively for the Saturday. Strong junior teams are vital to competition in the 1st XV and the future of the FP Club. If your attendance on a Tuesday and Thursday has been ambushed by over- celebration and Christmas pudding, please make it your New Year’s resolution to get yourself back in shape and represent the club on a Saturday.

If you have been thinking of playing but not yet quite got around to it, now is the time to start. As you know, you will be made very welcome by coaches Burge and Duncan. 

Next week (19th January) F.P. fixtures are as follows: 

1st XV vs Boroughmuir – Meggetland, 3 pm
2nd XV vs Edinburgh Accies – Inverleith, 2 pm
3rd XV vs Portobello 2nd XV – Inverleith, 2 pm

It would appear that the university leagues do not resume until 30th January.

In mentioning age group rugby, the club has already congratulated Phil Cringle on his selection for the Scotland under 20 squad. However, you may not have noticed that Alex Hagart (another SMC man) – unless I am sadly mistaken – was also in the mix, playing a part in the warm-up game against Ayr and scoring a try.

Disappointingly, he does not seem to have made the final selection. If I am imagining all this – my apologies, Alex! 

F.P Results

1st XV                                  18        Heriot’s Rugby       32
Glasgow Hawks                41         2nd XV                     00
Ross High 2nd XV             CANC   3rd XV                      CANC

(Ross High have withdrawn from the league)

 School Results

1st XV                                  53         Hutchesons’              05
A2 XV                                17          Trinity 1st XV            22
A3 XV                                14          Hutchesons’ 2nd XV  31
A4 XV                                24           Watson’s A3 XV      43
U16A XV                           55           Hutchesons’             00
Hutchesons’                      20           B1 XV                        20
Trinity B1 XV                   61           B2 XV                       00
Hutchesons’ B2 XV          40           B3 XV                       05
Hutchesons’                       00          C1 XV                        30
Trinity C1 XV                    00          C2 XV                        19
Hutchesons’ C2 XV           16           C3 XV                        16
D1 XV                                 24           Hutchesons’              03
Belmont D1 XV                 07           D2 XV                         18
D3 XV                                 11           Hutchesons’ D2 XV   10
D4 XV                                 17           Trinity D1 XV            22
Hutchesons’                       01            JA1                             09
Belmont JA1                      00            JA2                            12
Hutchesons’ JA2               01             JA3                            08
JB1                                      12            Hutchesons’               00
JB3                                      08           Hutchesons’ JB2        01
JB4                                      05            Heriot’s                      01
Merchiston                         04            JC1                             05
Cargilfield                           03             JC1                            05
Merchiston                         04             JC3                           04
Cargilfield                            05             JC3                           08

Hopefully see some of you on Saturday, either at Inverleith or Meggetland (or Myreside).

Keep Smiling,

Phil

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